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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had a frozen piston in the left rear caliper, so needed to replace it. I read on an old thread here where someone gave a hint about how to get some slack in the emergency cable, so that it can be removed at the rear caliper. They suggested pulling the main cable back as much as possible, then carefully clamping it with a vice grips. That gave me an idea that would avoid the use of the vice grips. Used a tie-down strap and hooked one end over the bracket that transitions from the single front cable to the two separate cables toward the rear. then hooked the other end to the back, on the coil spring. That gave quite a bit of slack at the rear caliper, to unhook the cable.
Someone had also suggested using an old ?? mm box end wrench and cutting a slot through it to slide over the cable, so as to release the prongs that hold the cable housing bracket in place. (I think that was on a YouTube video.) There are three prongs. I used an open-end 1/2" wrench to depress two of the prongs, and had a small vice grips clamped on the cable housing, so that I could turn it to line up the third prong with the slot in the bracket. (The slot is there so that you can slide the cable out of the bracket, once the cable housing end with the prongs is slid back out of the bracket.) The vice grips gave me something to get a good hold of the cable housing, so as to pull it forward and out of the bracket. Worked well for me.

ONE QUESTION: The banjo bolt (at the brake line attachment point on the caliper) on the caliper I bought has an 11 mm head. I DID use the new copper washers provided, and tightened it as much as is possible with an 11 mm wrench, but there is still a very slight fluid leak there. I will watch it to see that it doesn't continue to leak, but it is possible that it will stop?
(I have never before replaced a brake connection that used this type of connection there - all my experience is with much older vehicles that use a threaded fitting. Also, most of my experience has been with vehicles that weren't here in the Ohio "Salt Belt" - I grew up in Oklahoma, where we never had to contend with the rust problems encountered here in Ohio and in places like Minnesota, where I went to college.)
 

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I DID use the new copper washers provided, and tightened it as much as is possible with an 11 mm wrench
You may have deformed one (or both) of the washers. The banjo bolt fittings are only torqued to 18 foot-pounds (212 inch-pounds).
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's possible, but I only snugged it to start with, probably around 20 foot pounds at the most. (It's a small wrench, not a long handled one.) It continued to leak slightly, so I tightened it more. It was just 'wet' there this morning, after doing the job yesterday afternoon. I put the wrench on it, but it was already as tight as I dared make it. I had also cleaned the area where the washers contact the brake line 'block'. I guess I'll watch it there for leaks, and also the fluid level, and see how it turns out. The banjo bolt on the original caliper had a much larger head, so I suppose the smaller size on this one helps prevent over-tightening.
Thanks for your reply.
 

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A leaky remanufactured caliper is quite possible. Been there, had that happen.

Cleanliness is crucial with the banjo connection. The screw in connections you mentioned apply to fixed lines fastened to wheel cylinders on a solid axle.

Copper gasket (crush) washers are readily available in multiple sizes from Amazon.

18 ft. lbs, per spec, sounds low for torque, previous Generation listed 35 ft. lbs. which was high, in my opinion. Those bolts, with a hole in them, can shear off quite easily, so be careful. Recently worked on a Honda CRV that speced 25 ft.lbs, I believe.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A leaky remanufactured caliper is quite possible. Been there, had that happen.

Cleanliness is crucial with the banjo connection. The screw in connections you mentioned apply to fixed lines fastened to wheel cylinders on a solid axle.

Copper gasket (crush) washers are readily available in multiple sizes from Amazon.

18 ft. lbs, per spec, sounds low for torque, previous Generation listed 35 ft. lbs. which was high, in my opinion. Those bolts, with a hole in them, can shear off quite easily, so be careful. Recently worked on a Honda CRV that speced 25 ft.lbs, I believe.
Thanks. If it continues to leak, I will get new crush washers, back it off, and check with a torque wrench. Hope I don't need to, as that would mean bleeding the system again. As far as the leak goes, I cannot really tell exactly where it is coming from. (Partly due to how little it is leaking, and partly due to my rather poor eye-sight for up-close deals.)
 

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Any bleeding should be minimal when replacing washers.
These hose pinchers are inexpensive and come in handy. Can use them when working on your lawnmower too.
Grey Automotive tire Font Snow Art


Vice grips can be improvised to work as hose pinchers.

Rather than hoses on the vice grips, using pieces of hose on the line to protect it, is another way.

The leak could be from the bleeder screw threads. Use concentrated bright light to benefit from reflections. Your cell phone maybe?
 
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It’s really not a good idea to pinch off brake hoses. I know people do, but it can damage the inner layer and you never know. They need to be able to handle a couple thousand PSI and compromising the layer that contains that pressure doesn’t seem like a good idea.
 

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It’s really not a good idea to pinch off brake hoses. I know people do, but it can damage the inner layer and you never know. They need to be able to handle a couple thousand PSI and compromising the layer that contains that pressure doesn’t seem like a good idea.
I can imagine the look on your face when a front caliper, including bracket, are hanging by the hose while a Mechanic replaces a wheel hub. :)
 

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I can imagine the look on your face when a front caliper, including bracket, are hanging by the hose while a Mechanic replaces a wheel hub. :)
I’m surprised that you of all people think it’s ok to clamp brake hoses shut. It’s poor workmanship. This article explains why: Imploded Brake Hoses and Hidden Symptoms Not Easily Diagnosed

You’re damaging the hose. Hanging the caliper from the hose isn’t great, either, but I don’t think it’s nearly as damaging as clamping the hose shut. Just because “everybody does it” doesn’t make it right.
 

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I’m surprised that you of all people think it’s ok to clamp brake hoses shut. It’s poor workmanship. This article explains why: Imploded Brake Hoses and Hidden Symptoms Not Easily Diagnosed

You’re damaging the hose. Hanging the caliper from the hose isn’t great, either, but I don’t think it’s nearly as damaging as clamping the hose shut. Just because “everybody does it” doesn’t make it right.
Good points. As with any tool, use with care.

My common methods, over the years, have been to (1) plan the change over to happen real fast so as to lessen the loss of fluid or (2) push the brake pedal down and prop it against the seat with a board. Pinchers, the ones I pictured actually, I use from time to time as well.

It's okay to use pinchers on a Mercedes: :)

I think hanging the caliper and/or bracket, using the hose, is a definite no, no. But guess what, Shops hang the caliper and/or bracket everyday plus use pinchers on the hoses religiously. They charge you for it. Well, they should charge you less, as less time is involved. :)

Sort of like lugnuts being overtightened to 150 ft. lbs. It takes time to torque properly to 100 ft.lbs with a torque wrench.
 

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Yes, I looked that up in my Haynes Manual as well. That's the lowest torque I have seen on a banjo bolt ever. It's the same bolt diameter as used on the 4th Generation brakes, but with way less torque. 18 ft lbs is the same torque that goes on the oil filter cover. In fact, the oil drain plug calls for 20 ft.lb and with very little pressure behind it. Doesn't sound right but that's what it says. I think I would be torqueing that bolt, if it's typical, a bit higher.
 

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Cordless dremels with metal cutting wheels are the best in tight spots. If you are replacing the caliper, just cut the hook holding the cable.

I don't like the ideas of clamping or pulling on the brake hose, and try to avoid it as much as possible. I'd rather just let the (dirty) fluid leak out and bleed it afterwards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Calipers hanging by the brake hose.
Pinchers on the brake hose.
Cheap parts marked up.
Replacing rotors every brake job.

All reasons why I prefer to do my own work.

Cut the hook? What about the core deposit? (They looked it all over when I took mine in. Even noticed that I had removed the spring on the back side of the emergency cable hook. They didn't say if they would have cared if it was missing, as I did include it in the box.)

I was pretty generous with pumping the fluid out while bleeding the system, as that piston was frozen in there, and who knows what all was in there. I know you're supposed to do a full system flush from time to time, but I've never done that.
 

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Nothing in the Owner's Manuals about "flushing" or exchanging fluid even, for the brake system. When I replace a caliper, that line will have the fluid exchanged with new fluid.

As for flushes:

The Owner's Manual calls for coolant flushes (at 10 years/150,000 miles?) for my 2016 DGC, so they aren't 100% against flushes or fluid maintenance. Manufacturers differ considerably regarding brake fluid maintenance though.

As for Chrysler brake fluid maintenance:
At every oil change "Inspect brake pads, shoes, rotors, drums, hoses and park brake."
• Check the fluid levels of the coolant reservoir, brake master cylinder, and power steering and fill as needed.
That's it for brakes.
Others:
"For example, Chevrolet calls for a brake fluid change on most models every 45,000 miles, but Honda says to do it every three years regardless of the vehicle’s mileage. Three years is also the recommended interval for most Volkswagens, but Mercedes-Benz vehicles typically call for fresh fluid every two years or 20,000 miles. In contrast, on the Ford Escape, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Camry and other models from those manufacturers, there are no recommendations for replacing the brake fluid, only instructions to inspect it periodically."

Doesn't sound like science, does it? Pick whatever recipe you want. Does it ensure that you won't have any brake problems or even lesser brake problems? Corrosion of brake lines is typically from the outside, so no help there.

RIP says: :)
 
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There is only so much one can do to avoid fate.

Caliper pistons can get frozen from material finding its way past the rubber boots into the cylinder walls of the piston. Moisture/salt can also seep in there to corrode the piston. Always good to check the boots when servicing the brakes - a torn boot is a reason to replace the caliper, or change the boot -- also to clean the areas around the piston and boots before squeezing them back into the body. Some calipers can be rebuilt, refreshed, if you can find the parts, and have the time.

Complete flushing of brake fluid out of the entire system is rarely needed in a street use only car. Although using common sense, it's probably a good thing every 5-10years. If nothing else, just to keep the bleeder screws from galvanizing into the caliper. If the brake fluid is really dark brown, its probably best to change it to clear. A full flush requires flushing fresh fluid at caliper
 

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There's no scarcity of brake hose pinchers. Must be a market for them. :) That vehicle coming toward you. Yep, brake hoses pinched. I haven't seen a Shop use the old board propped against the seat method for years. Today's Mechanics may not know about it (or don't want to use it).
 

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The springs on the calipers that assist the return of the e-brake lever will rust out in a few years also. p/n 68039257-AA I've had one break and cause a dragging (hot rotor) caliper. Inspect these anytime you have the wheels off and spray some fluid film or something on them to make them last. I change mine out each brake change now and inspect during tire rotations.
 
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